Individual Taxpayer Identification Number

What is an ITIN?
An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is a tax processing number issued by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS). An ITIN consists of nine digits, beginning with the number nine (i.e., 9XX-XX-XXXX). The IRS issues ITINs to taxpayers and their dependents who are not eligible to obtain a Social Security number (SSN) so that they can comply with tax laws. An ITIN does not authorize a person to work in the U.S. or provide eligibility for Social Security benefits. An ITIN does not provide a person with immigration status.

Who uses an ITIN to file tax returns?
Taxpayers who file their tax return with an ITIN include undocumented immigrants and their dependents as well as some people who are lawfully present in the U.S., such as certain survivors of domestic violence, student visa–holders, and certain spouses and children of individuals with employment visas. As of August 2012, the IRS had assigned 21 million ITINs to taxpayers and their dependents.

Can the IRS share ITIN information with other government agencies?
In general, privacy laws prevent the IRS from sharing personal taxpayer information with other government agencies.

Do I need to renew my ITIN?
Due to the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act passed in 2015, the IRS requires certain taxpayers to renew their ITINs before they submit their tax return and to claim certain tax credits, primarily the Child Tax Credit. Affected ITINs will expire on December 31, 2017, and unless renewed, taxpayers using expired ITINs on their tax returns will face a delay in receiving eligible tax refunds. All ITINs not used on a federal tax return at least once in the last three years will expire on December 31, 2017. Additionally, all ITINs issued before 2013 with middle digits of 70, 71, 72 or 80 (Example: (9XX-70-XXXX) will expire on December 31, 2017.

How do I complete an ITIN application or renewal?
You can apply for an ITIN or ITIN renewal in person by using an IRS-authorized Certified Acceptance Agent (CAA). Unless you apply through a CAA, you will need to send your original, physical documents (i.e., Passport, Birth Certificate, Driver’s License) to the IRS, and they will hold onto the items until they have processed your ITIN application (6-8 weeks during the off-season, 9-11 weeks during the tax filing season).

Some NYC Free Tax Prep sites participate in the IRS Certified Acceptance Agent program and can help you complete your ITIN application or renewal. Visit nyc.gov/taxprep to use our map to find a site.